We had the good fortune of connecting with John Cramer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Make Your Show was just a natural extension of the relationships my partner, Jason, and I had with other actors and creatives. It grew out of our own curiosity and willingness to try new things, to explore. When others saw us taking a stab at creating our own work, they wanted to know if we could help them do the same. Jason and I love to help! Other services exist to provide actors footage for their demo reels, but we were interested in giving the people we worked with more than just a scene. The original concept was that we would help actors produce a short film that could also function as a pilot for a series if they wanted to continue developing the concept. This would give them not only reel footage but the also chance to take their work to film festivals and establish new relationships. The process of putting together a short film involves so many different skill sets, from writing and casting to production and post-production. What’s so exciting to us about this is that the opportunities for learning and growth during this process are so much greater than working just as an actor (or writer or director). It hopefully helps our collaborators think of themselves as more – as creators, as artists.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my former life I was a middle and high school teacher. I’d acted in high school and loved it, but I never thought for one second it was a realistic career. In college I majored in writing, and though I always wanted to think of myself as a creative person, I let all the roadblocks and self-sabotage keep me away from giving myself to living a creative life. It was fear really. Again, it didn’t seem practical, and I never truly put in the hard work it required. Becoming a teacher seemed natural. I’d share my love of learning and reading and writing with others. And I did love that part of being a teacher, but I never lost my own creative spark. Turns out the fear just wasn’t strong enough. At a point in my life when my wife and I thought we’d move our young family to a new town, I resigned my tenured teaching position and for fun took an acting class. And that was it. The fire wasn’t gone, it had just been smoldering. The new town we moved to turned out to be a short commute to New York City. Despite the culture shock of going from a career built on structure and schedules and standards to one with no set path or certainty, I’ve loved the journey. I credit all the generous people who have helped me along the way as well as my own curiosity and perseverance. I’m not afraid to ask for help, and I love to share what I’ve learned with others. Now I am a working actor, I’m writing again, and I’m creating and collaborating as an artist with other artists in a way I never thought was possible! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Really there are so many people I could thank here, but I wouldn’t be writing this if it weren’t for Jason reaching out to me with the idea for Make Your Show. I thank him for putting his faith in me and inviting me to come along on this incredible journey. He’s a fantastic partner to work with – funny, creative, generous, and kind.
Instagram: johncramer63, makeyourshowcompany